World War II hero remembered for his bravery - Dallas News |

World War II hero remembered for his bravery

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One of the last living members of the "Easy Company" passed away on Sunday at the age of 90.

Few stories in world military history capture the imagination like United States paratroopers risking their lives and jumping from airplanes behind enemy lines during World War II.

J.B. Stokes was one of those paratroopers.

His son, Gary says his dad was a good man, a family man.

"We were all real close to him, just as close as you could possibly be I guess," Gary Stokes said.

But he was no ordinary man as history buffs know.

Staff Sgt. Stokes was one of the last remaining members of the 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. He was one of the men of "Easy Company" and the "Band of Brothers" made famous by a 10-part series several years ago.

Stokes died Sunday at an assisted living facility in Azle.

But, back in June 1944, in occupied France, the brazen 22-year-old lurched toward his rendezvous with destiny in World War II.

A platoon sergeant, Stokes and his fellow countrymen leapt from C-47's behind enemy lines to fight the Germans on D-day.

Gary knows almost all his dad's stories.

"He was one war horse, he was 21-years-old. He was one stout soldier. They were living in fox holes, in Bastogne. It was 25 degrees in snow and ice, and they stayed in those fox holes for 10 or 11 days.

Gary says his father would go to local high schools and give speeches about the war. He thought that was important, like the movie.

Yet, despite his heroics, Gary says what stands out most about his remarkable 90-year-old father was his humility.

"He was what you call country quiet, he just did what he was supposed to do, and didn't brag about it," said Stokes.

J.B. Stokes' memorial and wake will be held on Wednesday in Azle. His funeral is Thursday.

He will be laid to rest in Springtown.


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